Learn how to make vegetable stock from kitchen scraps with these easy directions. This is the best way to reduce kitchen waste and use every part of the vegetable. This stock can be made ahead/ frozen into cubes and adds a ton of flavor to soups and curries. Its chemical and preservative free and just plain delicious even on its own.
What if I told you that you could turn all your kitchen scraps 👆👆 into a flavorful, tasty stock 👇🏻👇🏻 and don’t need to throw them away anymore!
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last few months and its life changing. We eat a lot of veggies everyday, and we generate a fair amount of kitchen scraps. Kitchen scraps are basically peels, ends, leaves or roots that you would normally throw away. What we don’t realize is that all these odds and ends hold a ton of flavor and nutrition that is literally going into the bin. No more!
I’m teaching you how to make vegetable stock from kitchen scraps today. It’s extremely simple to do – you just throw everything into a pot, add some herbs, spices and top everything up with lots of water and after an hour of simmering, you have a beautiful, tasty, nutritious pot of vegetable stock that’s ready to be used in curries, soups, sauces, gravies and basically anywhere you might use water.
The best way to save kitchen scraps is to designate a freezer friendly box for scraps. Everyday wash your scraps and keep piling them into this box. Store the box in the freezer and whenever you have enough, you can just dump everything into a pot and let it simmer away.
What veggies are best for making vegetable stock?
The best veggies for stock are onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli etc. Since we are making stock with scraps, I basically use all the peels, trimmed tops and ends, and broccoli and cauliflower stems in my stock. It’s important that you give these a good wash before you add them to your stock pot.
A large stock pot (this one comes with a really handy insert) is your best friend while making homemade stock. I use a dutch oven to make homemade stock, broth and soups as it holds a large volume and evenly distributes heat which is great for simmering. You can check it out here.
Storing Vegetable Stock
There are two ways to store vegetable stock. You can either strain and pour it into jars, which can last in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Or pour the stock into ice trays and freeze them as cubes. You can later remove the ice cubes and store them in a ziplock back or freezer friendly box for later. Frozen stock can last you for as long as a year! Whichever way you choose to store it, make sure to label it and date it so that you know how old your stock is.
Jazzing up Vegetable Stock
The recipe I have below is for regular, everyday-use vegetable stock, but you can always jazz it up in different ways:
- Thai Flavors: Add some lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves to your stock pot while it’s simmering for Thai flavors
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a great addition to homemade vegetable stock. You can either use fresh turmeric root if you have some, or a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and adds a lovely color and flavor to the stock.
- Chinese Flavors: I love using homemade vegetable stock as a base for chinese soups. Adding 1-2 star anise and some cinnamon adds a spicy kick which is perfect as a base for clear soups, wonton soups or even ramens.
The best part about making vegetable stock from scraps is that unlike chicken or beef stock you don’t need to keep skimming off the top, which means its really hands off and easy once you add everything to the pot.
Treat this as a simple Sunday activity and trust me – you’ll never go back to buying stock again!
Watch How to make Vegetable Stock Recipe Video
How to make Vegetable Stock
- 5 cups Assorted Vegetable Scraps peels and pieces of bottle gourd, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots etc.
- 3 liters Water
- 1 Bayleaf
- 1 teaspoon Peppercorns whole
- 1 Small bunch Parsley and Thyme
- Put about 5 cups of assorted vegetable scraps like peels of carrots, onions, bottle gourd as well as stalks of cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms etc. in a large pot. Add 3 litres of water along with bayleaf, peppercorns, parsley and thyme.
- Once the stock starts to boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 40 minutes to an hour so that the vegetables release their aroma and flavor into the stock.
- Strain and use as a base in soups, sauces and curries.
- Optimal Simmering Time: The optimal time for simmering vegetable stock is 45 minutes to an hour. Any longer, and it starts to lose its flavor.
- Storing Stock: This stock lasts for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze the stock in ice trays and use the cubes as required. Frozen stock is good for up to a year.